The Religious Right just took strange to an entire new level. Not content to restrict the freedom of living and breathing human homosexuals here on Earth, they are now seeking to force fictional non-humans in distant galaxies from entering into homosexual relationships.
Tony Perkins, of the Christian right wing Family Research Council has denounced the ability of characters in an online video game to enter into homosexual relationships. Characters in the game are not able to have actual sex, but are able to form same-sex romantic attachments.
The video game, Star Wars – The Old Republic, is set in a time thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader. That particular detail of the the video game got me wondering what the theological justification is for getting upset about the relationship status of fictional extraterrestrials in far away galaxies in the distant past.
There is no Christian Bible in the Star Wars world. The characters aren’t humans. They’re extraterrestrials. If Darth Vader lived “a long time ago”, and the video game is set thousands of years before Darth Vader, that means that the characters in the video game lived long before the book of Leviticus, which right wing Christians cite as the source of the ban on homosexuality, was written. So, how can Christians object to the idea that somewhere on another planet, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, members of another species had same-gender sexual bonding habits?
Jesus didn’t preach on the moon of Endor, as far as I know. There’s no way that the characters in the Star Wars video game could have read the book of Leviticus. Leviticus was never published anywhere in the galactic republic of the Star Wars world, so, even if the authority of the god of the ancient Israelites were supposed to extend all the way to this distant galaxy, the specific prohibition against homosexuality from Leviticus never seems to have been imposed there.
Besides that, Leviticus declares that “You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind”. That’s men and women. It doesn’t say anything about what ewoks or wookies should do.
Finally, and yet most obviously, the Star Wars universe does not exist. It’s fictional. So, the characters there aren’t really in homosexual relationships, are they?
Many people would point out that the god of the Bible is fictional too – just a different kind of fiction from the fiction of the Star Wars universe. These two fictional settings are completely separate. To get upset with characters in the Star Wars universe about their lack of obedience to the rules made by the divine main character of the Bible is kind of like getting upset with Peter Pan for not helping Dorothy and her friends defeat the Wicked Witch of the West.
Maybe Tony Perkins and his friends at the Family Research Council believe that their deity is so powerful that its laws against homosexual relationships apply to absolutely everything – even fictional non-human species in distant galaxies in far away galaxies. If that’s the case, though, surely there would also be a ban against homosexual relationships among non-human species here on Earth. There are plenty of non-human creatures on Earth, however, who engage in homosexual relationships. If it’s wrong for non-human fictional creatures to have homosexual relationships, then it must be wrong for non-human creatures on Earth to have homosexual relationships too. So, why isn’t Tony Perkins preaching to these creatures to change their ways?